Dec. 3, 2021

21. Theater of Cruelty

21. Theater of Cruelty

Bad behavior, bigotry and boorishness! Philadelphia's New Theatre on Chestnut Street, as well as being the premiere home for drama in America, could also be the site of riots, uproar - and cruelty.


Bad behavior, bigotry and boorishness were often on display in many early 19th Century theater audiences. Philadelphia's New Theatre, on Chestnut Street, as well as being the premiere home for drama in America, could also be the site of riots, uproar - and cruelty. Three stories, all found in the published memoirs of manager and actor William H. Wood, serve to illustrate what a rough experience a night in the theater could be during this era.

(If you've come here looking for a discussion of the work of the 20th Century French actor, writer and theorist Antonin Artaud, sorry about that. I just liked the joke.)

For other images and additional commentary about this topic, as well as a bibliography of our sources, see our website's blog post:

https://www.aithpodcast.com/blog/the-riot-act/

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